Couples argue and resolve conflict in different ways. Some prefer to talk it out, while other lash out. Some choose to shut their partner out. No matter what fighting style you’ve developed over the course of your relationship, it’s important to know that though fighting is natural, it’s not always healthy.
Being open, accepting, and willing to explore are fighting styles couples should strive for. Productive arguments involve fighting, yes, but you motivation should be to resolve a conflict together, rather than simply winning an argument.
Here are couple fighting styles that could harm your marriage, if left unchecked.
As the name suggests, this fighting style involves one or both parties trying to maneuver the conversation in their favor. This happens when one partner shuts out the other, to the point of becoming an abusive bully. This fighting style can involve screaming or talking over a partner trying to explain themselves.
The danger with this style is not only can it open up the possibility of deeply hurting your partner, it can easily turn into emotional abuse. Does this sound familiar? Strive to be more considerate of your partner, even when you’re upset.
In this fighting style, one simply takes whatever hurtful thing their partner does. The “victim” in this scenario doesn’t make an effort to air their side; they deny, blame others, and make excuses. They can be so emotional that it hinders any authentic, productive communication to take place. Victims can also use pity as a way to manipulate their partner into just giving up before a conflict is resolved.
3. Sulker and Avoider
Similar to the ‘victim’ fighting style, the sulker just takes whatever their partner says. But instead of showing emotion, sulkers shut their partners out and show their anger in other ways, like slamming doors or muttering under their breath.
In the same way, avoiders reject anything that threatens the balance of a relationship. They block emotions and spend time away from their partner to run away from conflict, not knowing that denial is a form of fighting in itself.
Are you the logical type? Then this might be your fighting style. You tend to see things in “black and white” and if you can’t make sense of an issue, you neatly “pack it into a box” and hide it away. This is similar to avoidance or sweeping things under the rug, so to speak.
Though it may seem like compartmentalizers are level-headed and mature, there is a danger that the avoidance will just cause resentment and negative feelings to fester, instead of sorting things out.
5. Passive aggressive
Possibly the most common of the fighting styles, passive aggressive fighters want control, but are not upfront about it. Because they can’t express their anger directly, it comes out in different ways, like tricking their partner they are okay when they are scheming behind their backs. Those who are passive aggressive tend to project a “harmless” facade in an effort to manipulate their partner or the situation.
Is your fighting style on this list? It’s not too late to dial it back and assume a more healthy, productive fighting style! Fighting can be healthy and it can deepen your love for one another, just make sure to do it correctly.
sources: Babble, Business Insider
READ: The right way to fight with your partner, according to science